With no upcoming county collecting planned for the next month, here’s a fun post (I hope) for regular readers. Over the weekend, a friend and I were discussing the song “I’ve Been Everywhere,” which many people know from the 1996 (yes, 1996 ) Johnny Cash recording. Of course the North American version has been around since 1962 when it was a number one county hit for Hank Snow (yes, he is Canadian ). What many in the US don’t realize is that the original version of the song was from Australia, full of Australian towns and places. (Wait, didn’t we have a similar discussion a year ago about the song “A Pub with no Beer”? https://insiders.marriottrewards.com/message/186320?messageTarget=all&start=200&mode=comments#comment-186352 ).
Regardless, the version of I've Been Everywhere" we know in the US lists cities, towns, and other places in the US and Canada, plus a few from Central and South America. I’ve been asked a handful of times how many of these places I’ve visited. Including Winnemucca, which is listed in the opening line of the song, I’ve been to 61 of the 92 locations mentioned (amazingly I’ve also been to 10 of places listed in the Australian version). While I don't plan on trying to get to everywhere mentioned, there are quite a few more I know I will reach (a few of the ones I'm missing are county seats, after all ).
Want to listen to the Hank Snow recording? Check out this link. Hank Snow - I've Been Everywhere lyric - YouTube
If you need more detail on the song itself, try this: I've Been Everywhere - Wikipedia .
Here are the lyrics to the US/North American version. I’ve highlighted in red, the places I have not visited. Notes at the end provide a bit more detail on the places I have visited. Looks like I still have some work to do if I really want to be able to say “I’ve Been Everywhere.”
"I've Been Everywhere" (lyrics by Geoff Mack)
I was totin' my pack along the dusty Winnemucca road,
When along came a semi with a high an' canvas-covered load.
"If you're goin' to Winnemucca, Mac, with me you can ride."
And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside.
He asked me if I'd seen a road with so much dust and sand.
And I said, "Listen, I've traveled every road in this here land!"
I've been everywhere, man. I've been everywhere, man.
Crossed the deserts bare, man. I've breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I've had my share, man. I've been everywhere.
Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo,
Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota1,
Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma,2
Tampa, Panama, Mattawa, La Paloma3
Bangor, Baltimore, Salvador, Amarillo,4
Tocapillo, Baranquilla, and Perdilla,5 I'm a killer.
Boston, Charleston, Dayton, Louisiana6,
Washington, Houston, Kingston, Texarkana,7
Monterey, Ferriday, Santa Fe, Tallapoosa,8
Glen Rock, Black Rock, Little Rock, Oskaloosa,
Tennessee, Hennessey, Chicopee, Spirit Lake,
Grand Lake, Devils Lake, Crater Lake,9 for Pete's sake.
Louisville, Nashville, Knoxville, Ombabika,10
Schefferville, Jacksonville, Waterville, Costa Rica,11
Pittsfield, Springfield, Bakersfield, Shreveport,12
Hackensack, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport,
Idaho, Jellico, Argentina, Diamantina,13
Pasadena, Catalina,14 see what I mean-a.
Pittsburgh, Parkersburg, Gravelbourg, Colorado,15
Ellensburg, Rexburg, Vicksburg, Eldorado,16
Larimore, Atmore, Haverstraw, Chatanika,
Chaska, Nebraska, Alaska, Opelika,17
Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City,
Sioux City, Cedar City, Dodge City,18 what a pity.
1Buffalo, NY (also Buffalo, OK and MN);
2Ottawa, IL and OH (but not Ottawa, ON)
3Drove within a few miles of La Paloma, TX (near Brownsville)
4Visited Salvador, CA (near Napa)
5All are in South America (Chile, Columbia, and Bolivia) none of which I’ve visited
6Charleston, SC (also WV, IL, and MO); Dayton, OH and TN
7Washington, DC (also GA, IN, IA, PA, VA, plus Washington State); Kingston, MO (also NY and TN)
8Monterey, CA and VA; visited Tallapoosa County, AL but not towns of the same name in GA or MO
9Grand Lake, OH
10Louisville, KY (also GA and IL); Nashville, TN (also IL and IN); Knoxville, TN and IA
11Jacksonville, FL (also IL and NC); never been to Costa Rica
12Springfield in CO, GA, IL, KY, OH, OR, and TN
13Argentina and Diamantina are in South America (never been)
14Visited Catalina, AZ near Tucson. Would love to get to Santa Catalina Island someday.
15Gravelbourg is in Saskatchewan, which I have never visted
17Chasak, MN; Alaska is on my travel plans for 2018; Opelika, AL
18Going to Sioux City, IA in August
Hope this was fun for everyone (it was for me, though bit of work on the research part ). I’m off to Sioux City, IA and then into parts of Nebraska in about a month. With only 92 counties collected so far this year, I need to pick up the pace. At least I know the next trip will push me over the 2,000 county mark. You’ll be able to read about it here in late August.